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Travel MVPs

To continue on my long-winded travel rant, I wanted to share my travel MVPs:

Travel Team MVPs:

- I ordered very cheap packing cubes from Amazon and these were rock stars. I got a pack of 5 and used the large one, medium one, and one of the pouches for toiletries. They made packing a snap.
- Under Armour performance underwear. Yes, it’s expensive but so lightweight and odor-resistant. It washes up in a snap and packs down to nothing.
- Under Armour rain jacket. This was super light, so that when I wasn’t wearing it I could tie it around the strap on my purse for no added weight, yet it was wind resistant and kept out the rain.
- Vera Bradley little hipster. Light weight and the perfect size for a small wallet, sunglasses, keys, tissues, chapstick, comb, and compact.
- Under Armour Gemini 2 running shoes. These are my every day running shoes in black, so slightly more low-profile. Wore them every day.
- Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizer. Found a tiny, .05 ounce tube at Sephora that was perfect for travel.

Thoughts:

- I read a lot of discussions about leggings (from ‘be comfortable’ to near hysterical rants). I wore them. I saw plenty more out and about in London and in smaller towns. But in larger cities, you will literally see everything. Will you be marked out as a tourist? Of course! You’re queuing up to go into the British Museum at 11AM on a Thursday, or taking a long time to count out change, or talking to your travel partner in an accent. But that will happen regardless of what you wear. Over 14 days I was called out at 100 paces for “a yank” and, alternately, asked for directions in a small town. For what it’s worth, I’d say wear what you are comfortable in and what is weather appropriate.

- I did not need the ballet flats. We did one theater experience, for which running shoes were fine. Next time I’ll take two pairs of walking shoes in black or with a low profile.
- Layer. We were there May 7-21. I fretted about not having AC in our rented flat, then shivered through a week in London and nearly froze to death in the Cotswolds. Especially in London, it could be very cool in the mornings, then heat up mid-day, then cool again in the afternoon.

- I tore up several guidebooks before I left and secured them with binder clips. Then as we visited those sites, I tossed the sections. I also brought books I planned to read and then leave. In an excess of caution, I brought maps from the US which I didn’t need to do, they were widely available at service stations. I had hard copies of all of our reservations. Since I knew I had soft copies, I also tossed those as we successfully checked in. This meant room for my minimal souvenirs!
- I brought two travel adapters, which was very handy as we each had devices. We picked up a cheap smart phone at Carphone Warehouse. It might have been handy to pick up a smartphone and a cheap flip phone, as we separated fairly frequently. This probably isn’t an issue for other people.
- I did not pack toiletries. Instead, on Day 1 we hit up a Boots and bought everything from shampoo and body wash to razors and deodorant for about 20 GBP. It would have been less, but when I told husband we weren’t packing toiletries, he thought I meant anything when I just meant liquids!
- Usually I am all about the performance socks. Well, not this time. I found my UA performance socks were too thin and were beginning to give me a hot spot on my foot. Switched to my Hanes plush socks and problem solved.

Posted by
1675 posts

Thank you for sharing you experience. I'm taking only the much maligned leggings so I'm happy to hear they worked out. They're lightweight, pack small and wash and dry easily.

Posted by
11292 posts

"when I told husband we weren’t packing toiletries, he thought I meant anything when I just meant liquids!"

Great story!

Posted by
34 posts

Horsewoofie,

I'm in the apparel industry, so I pay a lot of attention to what people are wearing. I can tell you the athleisure trend is strong in the UK. If you have an Adidas track suit, you'll fit in like a local!

Posted by
173 posts

I love your post. I use my Vera Bradley little hipster a lot at home. I'll have to remember to take it the next time we travel (Hawaii in July).

Posted by
34 posts

Sandy,

The little hipster would be ideal for Hawaii! The lightweight fabric will be perfect. Enjoy!! I just used it on a business trip to Boston and it was a great size and added no weight.